Using regular handsets can be hard for people with this condition, especially since they’re elderly. No need to fret, there are specific phones made for seniors. We’ve run through the top options in our best cell phone for seniors with dementia review.
The Phones- At A Glance
We summarized the specs of our entries in the following table.
6.3 inches (160.02 mm)
6.40 ounces (181.4 grams)
3.2 inch (81.28 mm)
4.80 ounces (136 grams)
5.5 inch (139.7 mm)
4.64 ounces (131.5 grams)
2.4 inch (60.96 mm)
3.32 ounces (94.1 grams)
2.33 inches (58.42 mm)
0.54 ounces (15.3 grams)
5.7 inches (144.78 mm)
0.80 ounces (22.6 grams)
The handset is big. Its screen stretches 6.3 inches (160.02 mm) across. For an elderly individual, the large display makes it easy to hold. The large screen helps with poor eyesight, especially since it’s very bright.
There’s just one screen, which has the contacts of your loved ones. There are pictures of them, so the senior’s memory will be jogged. On the display, 6 slots for contacts are present. However, you can play with its settings and add more. This makes it one of the easiest cell phones for seniors in general.
They’ll only have access to the call feature, and there are no other applications on it. You can set it up to not receive unknown calls. Your loved one would be safe from robocalls.
The memory phone looks like a “normal” handset. This is great for seniors who are self-conscious. It looks good too – it has a thin, chic black body.
When their dementia acts up, they may unknowingly leave home. You don’t have to worry; the mobile comes with tracking.
Of course, it’s not expensive either.
- Large phone, so it’s hard to misplace
- Bright screen
- Have contacts always available
- Mobile tracking
- No feature other than call, so you can’t video call
Elders are usually not fond of touch-phones – a flip one might be more their style. GreatCall has you covered. It looks like a flip-phone fit for the 21st century.
The display on it is bright. Your loved one won’t be squinting at it. Its keypad is also lit up well, and its buttons are tactile.
When using the phone, you can zoom in. There’s a powerful flashlight to help in dim settings as well.
If they are ever in need of help, they can easily get it. There’s an emergency button on the bottom end of its dial. It’s bright red, so it can’t be missed. The button directs them to an IAED agent.
When they’re on a call, hearing problems won’t be an issue. The company has included very powerful speakers.
If the senior is in a fragile state, and can’t use the phone, Lively can save the day. The feature lets them use their voice to make calls and send messages.
That’s not the only useful feature. You can press “0” and get a Lyft. It’s more affordable than a regular taxi.
- It is a flip-phone, so it might not intimidate them
- Bright screen
- Comes with an emergency button
- Can use the phone with their voice
- Have a feature to get a Lyft
- Although it looks elegant, it’s not as modern-looking as touch alternatives
Unlike its counterpart above, it is touchscreen. The screen is not gigantic, but it’s not small either. How do you feel about 5.5 inches (139.7 mm)? It looks like a modern handset, so the senior won’t be insecure about using it.
The menu is large. Everything is laid out very simply – this helps with navigation.
Like its brother, there is a special button to call for help. If you press the 5*, you’ll reach an urgent response unit.
There’s a voice-typing feature. This is great for dementia patients as they may be too weak to type.
There is internet access and a camera. Although the internet might not be the most useful for who you’re buying for, it is a nice feature to have. But its front camera is useful as you can video chat with your loved one.
There’s ample storage. They’ll be able to download many files, as there is 32 GB of space.
Learning to use it would be easier, there are heavy resource guides online.
We like the fact that its counterpart lets you order taxis. The Jitterbug is no different, you’ll just need to press the 0 button to open the app.
- Button to get emergency help
- There’s a button to get a Lyft taxi
- Many guides on how to use the phone available
- Simple UI
- Small screen
You’re looking at another flip-phone. It comes in a rich red. It looks modern, making it fit for life in 2020.
Its flip mechanism is ultra-smooth. There are large buttons on its keyboard as well. They are back-lit, making them a breeze to use.
On the front of the handset, an external display is present. It shows the day, date, and any notifications.
An elderly user may have hearing problems. Luckily, the Easyfone is compatible with hearing aids. There’s also an SOS button – the button will be both the M1 and M2. Speaking of buttons, those between 2-9 can be set as speed dials.
Its screen is 2.4 inches (60.96 mm). Although small, there’s almost no bezel action, and it’s immersive. Applications are largened, so maneuvering through them is easy. The mobile runs Nucleus OS, which is a super simple UI.
The cherry on top is the ICE manual. As they suffer from dementia, they might not remember the conditions they have, or medication they have to take. You can store ample health information on it.
Wires won’t have to be used to charge it. Easyfone tries to make life easier, so it comes with a dock.
- There is an SOS button
- A bright, tactile keypad is present
- Immersive display
- Hearing aid supported
- ICE manual included
- Charging dock available
- Not as modern looking as touch alternatives
- Small screen
The first thing you’ll notice about it is the big button on its back. It’s very tactile, which is great for frail seniors. It is the ezTwo’s SOS button. It sends you to Snapfon’s 24/7 response team. Their team is trained well, so you can expect the best care.
It’s a great mobile for elders, with or without dementia as it’s very loud. If they fall and need help, the ezTwo comes with a 120dB siren too.
There are 8 buttons to use as speed dials. Anyone would appreciate this.
As it’s made for seniors, it’s not surprising that it’s hearing aid compatible. It can handle the M3/T3 type. There’re 4 different alarms on it, which is always useful.
You can lock its keypad. This prevents the senior from accidentally calling people.
Maneuvering through it is a piece of cake – its system is simple.
The device also has a super bright LED torch if ever they need to use a flashlight.
- SOS button
- Can lock its keyboard
- Very simple UI
- Bright flashlight
- Hearing aid compatible
- Siren can accidentally be set off
The unit is quite big. Its front stretches 5.7 inches (144.78 mm) across. You don’t have to worry about your loved one damaging it, as the Armor in its name is no joke - it’s military-rated. That’s why it can also handle submersions. It has a resistance rating of 2 meters, for up to 2 hours.
In case the senior accidentally puts it in the fridge, the Ulephone will protect itself. It can handle temperatures between -20c and 60 C.
If they wander off and end up in a dusty area, or if it falls into a dusty place, the mobile will still work. The company made it dust resistant. The unit will last a while as well – there’s an over 10,000 mAh battery. It’ll last for over 2 days. Ulephone included a fast charger in the box and it fully charges in the blink of an eye.
It’s also easy to grip, there’s texturing on its back.
The glass on its display is durable too – it is Gorilla Glass 5. It’s bright and sharp, so a senior would easily be able to use it.
It snagged a spot on our list as it’s quite durable. But it’s not on the top as it doesn’t come with specific features for dementia patients. For example, there is no SOS button and it’s not hearing aid-compatible. It’s durable enough to handle other scenarios though, which is why included it.
- Shock resistant
- Water-resistant (2 meters for upto 2 hours)
- Has a massive battery
- Can handle extreme temperatures
- Dust resistant
- Great texturing
- No SOS button
- Not hearing aid compatible
Now that you know what the best phones are, let’s look at what features make up the best cell phone for dementia patients.
What Features Should You Look For?
Touch or Flip
One of the most important things to consider is whether the device will be smart. Seniors are not used to handling tech, so a flip phone might be more their style. Even if they could work a touch-unit, they’ll be more comfortable with its counterpart.
If it’s a flip phone, it needs to have large buttons. They should be backlit and tactile as well.
If it’s touch, its interface needs to be easy to navigate. The entry in our number 1 spot made our best dumb phone review as it’s a breeze to use.
Most seniors have fairly poor eyesight. The mobile you’re purchasing should have a well-lit screen to aid them. The bigger the better – this makes it harder to misplace as well.
The best unit for dementia patients would have an SOS button. Most of them do, thankfully. The button should be large, to make it easy for your loved one to use.
Although this feature is not as important as an emergency button, speed dials are needed. The senior can contact you and other loved ones whenever they want.
The phone might be used by your elderly mother, father, aunt, or uncle. If the power goes out and they’re alone in the dark, it’s a disaster waiting to happen. Thankfully, most handsets for dementia patients come with strong flashlights.
Considering all the entries we discussed, we only know the size of the batteries in one unit. The senior may have an episode and leave home suddenly. If they have their phone with them, you can try and reach them, or track their location.
Top Tips When Buying the Devices
Before purchasing them, you need to make note of a few things to get the best value for money.
Take a look at the handset – does it come with a carrier plan? If so, your loved one would always have a connection. The majority of units we talked about come with some kind of plan.
Not all plans are the same, though. Some networks provide better coverage than others. An example would be AT&T.
Elders, especially those suffering from conditions like dementia, can be clumsy. If they don’t own a device like the Ulephone, they could misuse it. Make sure that your seller provides a warranty. The longer it is, and the more aspects it covers, the better the purchase.
Although the mobile may work fine for most dementia patients, your elderly relative may not like it. For example, they may not like the fact that it’s a flip-phone. To avoid these sticky situations, the seller should have a return policy.
It’s unfortunate what dementia does to a person, but some tools and gadgets make things easier. The options we discussed are superb examples – your loved one would always be able to get help if ever they’re in need.
The entries on our list were neck-in-neck with each other. However, we had to give the RAZ memory phone our number 1 spot. It looks the best, has a massive screen, and is also affordable. We like that it has limited features – your loved one won’t find themselves in trouble. Although it only has 6 slots for numbers, you can play with its settings and add more.
Of course, you should keep our buying guide in mind too. We talked about the features you’d need in a handset for a dementia patient.